Britney Spears is an undeniable pop icon. From her days as a teen queen in the early 2000s to maturing into a bold and brave superstar, Spears’ music has defined pop music for more than two decades. While we all know and love hits like “Baby One More Time,” “Toxic” and others, Spears has a bevy of deep cuts off her nine studio albums that are just as worthy of an ear. Here are seven deep cuts by Spears you should be listening to.
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1. “I Will Be There”
When Britney Spears burst onto the pop scene just before the turn of the century with her debut album, …Baby One More Time, she quickly became the queen of teen pop. While hits like the title track and “(You Drive Me) Crazy” define the album, “I Will Be There” is a deep cut that deserves your attention. This tender-hearted song shows off Spears’ sweet voice alongside the friendship-themed lyrics that position Spears as a shoulder to lean on. The song has the power to make you think of the precious friends in your life, making it a stand out.
Britney Spears co-wrote this track with Max Martin and Rami that’s equal parts ear-friendly and fierce about a girl who’s leaving a relationship and never coming back. What stands out here is Spears’ definitive nature, making it clear through such lyrics as, Here I am/So try to forgive me/I don’t believe in fairytales/Here we are with nothing but honesty/I’ve had enough/I’m not gonna stay, that she’s standing firm in her decision to leave with no possibility of swaying her mind. She is confident and fearless, two qualities that make Spears such a compelling artist.
“Shadow” is a shining gem off Spears’ urban-influenced fourth album, In the Zone. The song shows off the sweet notes in her voice as she comes to terms with the fact that her partner is physically present, but has mentally moved on from the relationship. Knowing their time together is almost up, Spears sings Your love still lingers on/But you, you are almost gone, with aching honesty, making for one of her best deep cuts.
4. “Get Back”
Spears changed the game when she dropped Blackout in 2007 with hits like “Gimme More” and “Piece of Me” setting a precedent for dark pop music. The deluxe edition boasts one of Blackout‘s best numbers, “Get Back.” The eerie melody mixed with Spears’ mysterious vocals makes for a gritty pop banger that should have been a single.
5. “Just Like Me”
Spears’ most recent album, Glory, is largely underrated and is filled with noteworthy tracks. One of them is “Just Like Me.” Co-written by Spears and hit songwriters Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels, and Nick Monson, it was Spears who pitched the concept for the song about a woman who walks in to find her boyfriend cheating on her with a woman who looks just like her. That dark idea turned into a beautiful, guitar-driven ballad that showcases the falsetto tones in her voice, as well as her storytelling capabilities.
6. “Love Me Down“
Glory is the gift that keeps on giving, and that rings true with “Love Me Down.” This deep cut will instantly grab one’s ear with its throbbing beat and finger snaps that are soon met by Spears’ enticing vocals. It’s supremely catchy from start to finish, making it a bop that’s quintessentially Britney.
For three minutes and 17 seconds, Spears exudes nothing but confidence on “Liar.” This deep cut off Glory is pure fire as Spears fiercely calls out a cheating lover. Spears knows he’s doing her dirty, and she won’t stand for it. With a fierce melody accented with a hint of harmonica, Spears’ presence feels larger than life here, making it not only a noteworthy deep cut but one of her best songs in her recent catalog.
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